Postgraduate study

Global Health and Infectious Diseases (Online Learning) MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Awards: MSc, PgDip (ICL), PgCert (ICL), PgCert, PgDip, PgProfDev

Study modes: Part-time Intermittent Study, Part-time

Online learning

Funding opportunities

The Global Health and Infectious Diseases programme offered me a chance to broaden my knowledge base to understand more about various important aspects of infectious diseases, with application in both developed and developing country contexts.

Martin Wainaina Global Health and Infectious Diseases
Martin Wainaina               Global Health and Infectious Diseases

The Global Health and Infectious Diseases postgraduate programme brings together a diverse community of online learners with transdisciplinary opportunities to identify, explore and address regional and global health challenges related to infectious diseases.

In the past few decades there has been almost one new disease emerging each year and more than 75 per cent of these diseases derive from zoonotic origins. There is now more demand for investment and research to help us manage these diseases better.

This programme aims to address the challenges posed by infectious diseases in the 21st Century by offering you courses in surveillance, prevention and control of infectious diseases, as well as evaluating how they impact public health.

This is a professional postgraduate qualification for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel with an interest in global health and infectious diseases.

The programme draws upon the parallels that exist between these diseases, learning from the challenges that exist and aiming to connect individuals to lay the foundations for a global community of practice. Our aim is to provide advanced qualifications for biomedical, medical, public health, and veterinary personnel. The course is designed to instruct students in the practice of formulating and implementing strategies and programmes aimed at renewing and strengthening scientific knowledge development and building human capital.

Our online learning system lets you work entirely from your home location while still earning your salary. This can enhance your learning experience and working knowledge while rewarding you with a highly regarded qualification.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Health Academy.

Our online learning technology is fully interactive, award-winning and enables you to communicate with our highly qualified teaching staff from the comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our online students not only have access to Edinburgh’s excellent resources, but also become part of a supportive online community, bringing together students and tutors from around the world.

Studying online at Edinburgh

Find out more about the benefits and practicalities of studying for an online degree:

The programme normally takes three years, beginning with a series of courses and followed by an individual project or dissertation.

In Year 1 (certificate), you will take courses that include:

  • Global Health: Fundamentals
  • Understanding Infectious Diseases

And you will choose one from the following two options:

  • a single course in Applied Epidemiology and Public Health
  • a course each in Global Citizenship and Globalisation and Health

More information on year 1 courses

In Year 2 (diploma), you will choose sixty credits from a range that includes:

  • Global citizenship
  • An introduction of project cycle management
  • Transdisciplinary policy approaches for addressing the public health and development challenges of the 21st century
  • The Nexus of Food Security and Global Health
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Travel medicine and infectious diseases
  • Globalisation and health
  • Public health systems in the developed and the developing world
  • The communication of disease control
  • Technological advances in diagnostics
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Newborn and child health
  • Zoonotic diseases in a global setting
  • Global health: mortality
  • Zoonotic disease
  • Introduction to GIS and spatial data analysis
  • An introduction to vaccinology

More information on year 2 courses

In Year 3 (MSc), you will conduct a written reflective element of 10,000-15,000 words.

Find out more about how the programme is structured:

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD)

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Please contact the programme team for more information about available courses and course start dates.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
MScGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDip (ICL)Global Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCert (ICL)Global Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20
PgCertGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases1 YearPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgDipGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2019/20
PgProfDevGlobal Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyProgramme structure 2019/20

On successful completion of the The Global Health and Infectious Diseases MSc a student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate extensive detailed critical knowledge in global health and infectious diseases informed by evidence based learning.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills, understanding and research in a wide and often unpredictable variety of global health contexts.
  3. Develop and evaluate original and creative solutions to problems and issues faced in response to the infectious disease challenges in global health.
  4. Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
  5. Work in peer relationships to critically reflect on relevant experiences and build on and address these within a scientific context.

This programme has been designed to help you fulfil leadership roles in international and national organisations that manage health and disease issues. A number of students have also raised their academic profiles through the publication and dissemination of their final year research.

I am Martin Wainaina and I come from Nairobi, Kenya. I studied the MSc Global Health and Infectious Diseases programme at the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy.

The part-time study programme allowed me to continue with my work in my home country at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). While not easy at all, I learnt with time to integrate my studies with my everyday schedule.

My written reflective element in the third year of study involved lab work and writing a thesis. This component for me was by far the most challenging portion of the programme due to the sheer dedication it required. I however found scheduled supervisory meetings with my assigned supervisor, Dr. Kim Picozzi, as well as those from my home institution, Dr. Johanna Lindahl, very helpful in steering me in the right direction, especially in the lab work, writing and timely submission of the dissertation.

Since finishing the programme, I published the work that comprised my thesis as a peer reviewed journal article.

I later also joined the PhD (Biomedical Sciences) programme in Dahlem Research School at the Freie University of Berlin, in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the German Institute of Risk Assessment (BfR).

A great advantage of studying in the international programme was meeting students from various fields and countries. This was both online and during summer school. It is always a great thing meeting with some of my colleagues in seminars and conferences and exchanging notes as well as catching up. It is always a joy when I meet a former classmate and see the good progress that they have made in their careers.

Combining work and a Masters degree is not an easy task and achieving a good balance does take a while, especially when starting out. However, as with all good things in life, dedication and hard work always rewards. Planning and management of time is vital so that one finishes small tasks before they become to large too handle in the short time available. My lesson therefore is that one needs a positive attitude and to be diligent in the task. When it comes to the written reflective element, proper communication with the supervisors as the project progresses is of great benefit.

The flexibility of setting my schedule was definitely a positive aspect as I could build my career in my home country while furthering my education.

The Global Health and Infectious Diseases programme offered me a chance to broaden my knowledge base to understand more about various important aspects of infectious diseases, with application in both developed and developing country contexts. The presence of a full fee scholarship from the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission of the United Kingdom (CSCUK) was also an added advantage as this meant that I would not have to worry with school fees.

Martin Wainaina, Global Health and Infectious Diseases

Read Martin's peer reviewed journal article:

Student testimonial: Moses Sebana

Student testimonial: Eleanor Bafour-Agyei

How does online learning work?

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a biomedical, medical, public health, veterinary or relevant bio-science topic.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant work experience; please contact the programme team to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGlobal Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 6 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
MScGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgDip (ICL)Global Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 4 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCert (ICL)Global Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees
PgCertGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases1 YearPart-timeTuition fees
PgDipGlobal Health and Infectious Diseases2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
PgProfDevGlobal Health and Infectious DiseasesUp to 2 YearsPart-time Intermittent StudyTuition fees

The University of Edinburgh offers a small number of scholarships to outstanding candidates. These are very competitive. We publish data on the success rate for scholarship applications to help you understand the level of demand.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB
Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2020 28 August 2020

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine Postgraduate Office
  • The Chancellor's Building
  • Little France
  • Edinburgh
  • EH16 4SB